General UK Lockout/Tagout Procedure

lockout tagout procedure.jpg1

ONLY TRAINED & AUTHORISED PERSONNEL ARE PERMITTED TO LOCK OFF EQUIPMENT.

Prepare for shutdown.

Identify the type of energy used to operate the equipment.

Ensure that any secondary energy sources are also identified.

Identify the amount of energy used to operate the equipment.

Identify the potential hazards of that energy.

Locate the method of controlling that energy (switches, breakers, valves etc.)

Inform all affected employees.

Identify all employees who may be affected by the shutdown of equipment and inform them of the shutdown.

Ensure they know who is locking off the equipment and why.

Turn off the equipment.

Turn off the equipment using the operator controls

Follow the standard procedure for shutdown and ensure no-one is at risk when doing so.

Isolate all energy sources.

Ensure that ALL energy sources have been isolated.

Ensure that any secondary energy sources are isolated.

Ensure that ALL stored energy in the equipment is dissipated, e.g.

relieving trapped pressure.

releasing tension in sprints or block their movement.

block or brace parts that may fall due to gravity.

block parts in hydraulic and pneumatic systems that could move due to loss of pressure

bleeding, venting, flushing pipes with liquids or gases, ensuring appropriate precautions are taken against hazardous contents.

dissipating heat or cold and wear appropriate protective clothing.

Monitor and react to situations where stored energy can re-accumulate.

Lock off switches.

Lock off all switches or other energy controls (e.g. valves, circuit breakers) by using a suitable lock off device.

Only devices specifically designed for locking out should be used.

Each person working on the equipment should have their own personal padlock.

Each personal working on the equipment should place their padlock on the locking off device.

If the isolation device cannot support the number of padlocks needed, use a hasp or other suitable devices as necessary.

Apply purpose designed tags to the lockout to warn employees of the danger of the re-energising the equipment. These tags should be fit for purpose – durable, resistant to environmental conditions and attached securely to the lockout device.

Ensure the details of the tags are completed in full.

Test the equipment controls and circuits.

Make sure that all danger areas are clear from personnel and switch on the equipment.

Press ALL the start buttons or activation controls on the equipment to test the correct circuits have been isolated.

Test all of the circuits using the appropriate testing equipment to ensure that they have all been isolated.

Verify the main disconnect switch or circuit breaker can not be turned on.

Perform maintenance.

When preforming the maintenance of the equipment ensure that your actions will not reactivate the equipment.

If modifying or installing new equipment ensure that your actions will not reactivate the equipment.

If modifying or installing new equipment do not bypass the lockout.

When maintenance is complete ensure the correct reactivation procedure is followed to ensure the safety of both the person(s) working on the equipment and any employees that may be affected.

What is Lockout Tagout?

lockout tagout procedures1Basically Lockout Tagout is a physical method of preventing equipment from being re-energised when it is unsafe to do so.

Every year a large number of workers are injured in industrial accidents resulting from the unexpected start-up of workplace equipment and machinery. By ensuring that Lockout Tagout procedures are followed the risk can be prevented and injuries minimised.

Lockout is a physical method of keeping equipment from being re-energised, stop any unexpected movement, prevent the release of stored energy including the flow of gases and fluids. For example, to isolate an electrical circuit turn the appropriate breaker to the off position and place a lockout device in place to keep in this position. A padlock is then put in place on the lockout device to ensure it can only be removed by the person who locked it off.

Tagout is a highly visible warning placed on the equipment which has been isolated.  The tag should be of sufficient durability for the conditions, attached securely and proved details of the person who applied it. A tagout system should never be used without an appropriate lockout procedure as it does not provide the same measure of protection.

Lockout Tagout procedure should be followed during repair or maintenance of equipment where a worker could be injured by the unexpected start up of machinery. Depending on the type of machinery and energy source depends on which lockout device is used, energy can take many forms, which may include:

Electrical energy – commonly found powering nearly all workplace equipment.

Hydraulic energy – commonly found powering forklifts, cutting equipment and pumps.

Mechanical energy – commonly found in all machinery with moving parts.

Thermal energy – commonly found in equipment such as ovens or freezers (hot & cold).

Pneumatic energy – commonly found powering machinery via compressed air or gas.

Potential – commonly found in compressed springs or suspended weights.

Only trained and authorised employees are allowed to perform repairs, servicing and maintenance on equipment, and therefore training of all affected personnel must be arranged. This includes authorised employees who will be performing maintenance on the equipment as they need to recognise hazardous energy sources and the means necessary for isolation and control.

All other employees, contractors and visitors need to be made aware of the Lockout Tagout procedure with specific emphasis on the prohibition relating to attempts to restart or re-energise equipment which has been locked out.

Tags are an effective way of communicating the status of equipment which is undergoing maintenance.  Appropriate tags should be provided by the employer and be fit for purpose, they need to be:

  • Durable and hardwearing
  • Resistant to moisture, oils and other contaminants.
  • Easy to read and understand
  • Identify the person who installed it
  • Be attached using a method which is secure and that cannot be easily released. They should also be able to be attached by hand and should not be re-used.

Tags should always be used in conjunction with an appropriate lockout device. In some instances where it is not possible to attached a lockout device then tags may be used if there is no other physical alternative of isolation.

Further information can be found in current UK legislation. This has been put in place to prevent such accident occurring by controlling unauthorised or accidental use of energy.  The Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998, Section 19 Energy and Electrical at Work Regulations 1989, Regulation 13 both specifically cover these aspects.

In addition The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 both state that an employer should ‘make suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees’ and ensure their ‘health, safety and welfare at work’.

Also the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 also states that it is also the responsibility of the employee to ensure the ‘health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omission of work.

Ensure your workplace environment and employees are safe and risks are minimised by following strict Lockout Tagout procedures.  If you need help and guidance please call 01353 665141, our Lockout Tagout specialist will be happy to advise.